My thoughts about the orange chairs. I think they are now, basically, garden ornaments. There was a time when chairs and porches were a big deal. You could sit on your porch of an evening and say hello to whoever went by. You could just say hello, or you could chat a bit more, from a distance. There were choices. You might invite them up onto the porch to sit with you and then, if things went well, you might invite them into your house for a piece of cake. These encounters don't happen much anymore. Porches and verandas have been torn off houses all over, and so go the chairs, and day to day street friendliness.
There's a bench in a yard close to my place that has painted on it, Rest Ye and Thankful Be. I stop there sometimes while walking the hound, and we sit for a few minutes. I'd like try that on those orange Adirondak chairs!
Let's see. A couple of years ago I was walking through a field with my dog and we had a freak accident. I was thinking of taking a photograph of a tree. I had let Desmond go with his leash hanging, and as he (a big guy, Catahoula Leopard, a dog bred to coral wild pigs, State Dog of Louisiana no less) ran by me, the leash wrapped itself around my leg and didn't let go. My leg was broken in half and, yes, I heard the crack. My foot was displaced. I checked it out and put it back where I thought it belonged. Ouch! For a few seconds, the world went white, like an old black and white negative. Then I began to wave. People waved back! After what seemed an eternity, a car stopped. The rest was relatively good news - relatively because I live about six miles from town, and it took a year for my injury to heal. Ron Reed, the driver of the local Senior Citizens 'bus came through. He would pick me up at my house and take me where I wanted to go and then bring me back. I have no idea what I would have done without him.
The people who stopped on the road were neighbors. They belonged to the Calvary Baptist Church. With great kindness, over the next few weeks, they came to visit. Not long after the accident, ten people from the Church showed up unexpectedly at my cabin and stacked all my winter wood. Here they are (the Pastor is in the green shirt) and my friend, the computer wizard, Glen Comstock is on the far right. Small town generosity at it's absolute best.
Dean Thompson (retired) re-did all the electrical heating elements in the cabin. Now, they work so well, but electricity is prohibitively expensive so I try not to use it. "Shop around," someone said to me. What? You know (you know, I know you know) that the New Hampshire Electric Co-op is the only game in town!
Chris and Rodney of Hood Plumbing came by right after I moved into the cabin and fixed the water pump. The pump is situated in a small bunker about fifty yards down from the cabin, right in the woods. You have to find a concrete lid buried beneath all the fallen leaves. Then there's a space that one person can squeeze into. Chris was there, one day, all day. Later, they tackled the well which is farther down by the pond. It had not been cleaned out in many years and was full of rotting roots and weeds. A nasty job. They were most cheerful and hard working.
When I moved into the cabin I needed wood for the stove. I found Rick Henson. Rick has since sold me the best wood every fall. He also introduced me to his mother, Lois, who is now my a friend. Lois taught school in Woodsville for thirty-five years and now, retired, has ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren! She told me once that she was populating the earth!
Last Sunday, Rick's brother, Doug (and Lois's other son) an independent and very fine finish carpenter, showed up in my driveway with his 1929 Model A Ford. Want to take a ride? Well, indeed. We went for a great run-out to Long Pond which is not far from here. It was a lovely afternoon. Thanks, Doug. And to all the Hensons, for your friendship.
"My brother called. I talked about my garden and he told me the story of Dad wanting a specific rock that was up in the Minarets in the Sierras. Larry couldn't go, he was too young, but Dad took me in a flat-bed truck. Being the first born and similar in many ways, I went with him a lot. Exploring. And he always said, Don't take the same road twice. I drive my friends crazy 'cause I always say that. They think we're lost, but I never feel that way. You never know what might be around the next corner. Like Long Pond in Benton. Here's Pete and me. And I think my Dad might be standing right beside us."
Anne D'Aveni 2016. Wanda is a friend. She lives in Lebanon NH.
Zach is good at almost everything he turns his hand to. He recently enlisted with the US Navy, but he had a tip (a tip) of a finger missing from an old accident. They missed that boat. Now, he's thinking about fighting forest fires. His grandmother Lois, says, and I concur, "he marches to the tune of a different drummer."
My Aunt Pauline died in late February at ninety-nine years old. She had been born in Mussoorie, a hill station in British India in 1916. Here she is, with her brother (my father) at home.
In those days it was usual for the children of colonial families to be sent back to England to stay there until they left boarding school. I have never been quite sure about the reasoning. The lucky ones stayed with relatives for the holidays, but many of them found themselves with complete (and paid) strangers. Pauline and Terence were left with distant cousins, Mrs. Hewitt and her four grown children. Mr. Hewitt had died. Pauline was three, Terence was nearly six. Years later, he wrote in his journal:
"As our parents left us and drove off in the pony trap, the two of us ran crying down the road until it drew away and they were gone. We would only see them again for a month or two in the summer every three years".
It was a fate to be suffered by thousands of children, including my brother and myself.
Here is my aunt with her son, my cousin A.G. on the left, and his children on the right. It was her grand daughter Rose's wedding, just a few years ago. I was there. It was a special day.